IPOs Go Up, LinkedIn Finds a Nice Fit, Google Goes for a Slide, & More Bay Area BizTech News

Last week was another busy one for venture fundraising and acquisitions in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Fortunately, I got a lot of help this week from my San Diego colleague Bruce Bigelow, who reported on several stories affecting the Bay Area.

—On Friday, Google confirmed earlier press reports that it had acquired San Francisco-based Slide, which makes social applications for Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks. Google didn’t say how much it had paid for Slide, which was founded by Paypal co-founder Max Levchin; reports put the price tag at $182 million to $228 million.

—I profiled Zendesk, the San Francisco-based help desk software maker that has bounced back from a user revolt this spring over price increases and is busy rolling out new features that make it easier for companies to stay engaged with their customers.

—In the second part of a long conversation with Kate Mitchell and Rory O’Driscoll, general partners at Foster City, CA-based Scale Venture Partners, I explored how the firm works with mid-stage ventures that have a proven idea but need to scale up their operations.

—The IPO market for venture-backed startups is slowly strengthening, according to data from Menlo Park, CA-based VentureDeal. As Bruce reported, nine Bay Area companies have gone public in 2010, as have four more in Xconomy’s other home cities of Boston, San Diego, and Seattle.

—For folks interested in Silicon Valley’s booming angel investing culture, I shared a two-part report from Y Combinator’s July 29 AngelConf event. In Part 1 I excerpted some of the best quotes from Jeff Clavier, Greg McAdoo, Mitch Kapor, Andrea Zurek, and Paul Graham, and in Part 2, I quoted Naval Ravikant, Joshua Schachter, Mike Maples, Paul Buchheit, and Sam Altman. We’ve also got an essay today from leading angel investor Ron Conway, based on his AngelConf talk.

—San Francisco-based Ecotality unveiled a plan to install thousands of charging stations for electric vehicles in the San Diego area, as Bruce reported. San Diego is the first of 16 cities where Ecotality is installing EV charging stations over the next two years.

—I took a look at the digital options for getting business cards out of your life, including—my favorite—an iPhone and Android app called Bump, from the Mountain View, CA-based startup of the same name.

—Erin Kutz followed up on news that ThredUP, a swap site for children’s clothing, is packing its bags in Cambridge, MA, and moving to San Francisco’s Union Square.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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